Language Tags and Character Sets

Marion Gunn mgunn at
Tue Jun 3 14:31:28 CEST 2003

Scríobh "Philippe Verdy" <verdy_p at>:
> ...
> Language variants are not distinct because of a national border 
> ut because a long history of separation of peoples and atachment 
> of peoples to an origin culture in times of political conflicts or repressions.
> ...

That is true. As a dialectologist by calling, I must agree with you

> Then English in each area can be correctly labelled: "en-IE" is general 
> English as spoken in the whole Ireland.
> ...

That is what I would like to use for Hiberno-English, if it has not
already been registered.

I also feel very strongly that cultures overlapping international
boundaries should be tagged by consensus between relevant national
bodies (in this case BSI and NSAI), rather than fall victim to inexpert advice.

> I am not sure why this discussion goes into the Unicode list...

That is a technically messy story. Do you recall my supplying 'quick
brown fox' examples, showing Irish has a different Unicode/ISO 10646
character set to Gaelic and Manx, which have their own distinctive

Well, there is some interest in the university here in extending that
approach to see if we could do the same with frequency measures of IPA
charsets to tentatively fix borders between dialects, treating sounds as
isoglosses, as it were, in tandem with our usual syntactic/wordstore
analyses. No idea if that would work, but it is something I wish to
raise first within a more local NSAI forum. 

Marion Gunn * EGT (Estab.1991) * *
fiosruithe/enquiries: mgunn at * eamonn at *

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